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Ruthless by Lexi Blake ~ Excerpt and Review Tour

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Ruthless_CVFThe first in a sexy contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

The Lawless siblings are bound by vengeance. Riley, Drew, Brandon, and Mia believe the CEO of StratCast orchestrated their parents’ murder twenty years ago to steal their father’s software program. And there’s only one way Riley can find some solid evidence…

Heir to the StratCast legacy, Ellie Stratton hires a new attorney to handle a delicate business matter—and she’s shocked by her attraction to him. Over the course of a few weeks, Riley becomes her lover, her friend, her everything. But when her life is threatened, Ellie discovers that Riley is more obsessed with settling an old score than in the love she thought they were building. And Riley must choose between a revenge he’s prepared for all his life and the woman he’s sure he can’t live without…

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EARLY REVIEWS FOR RUTHLESS

“Smart, savvy, clever, and always entertaining. That’s true of Riley Lawless, the hero in Ruthless, and likewise for his creator, Lexi Blake. Both are way ahead of the pack.” ~ New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry

“I love Lexi Blake. Read Ruthless and see why.” ~ New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

With Ruthless, Lexi Blake has set up shop on the intersection of Suspenseful and Sexy, and I never want to leave. ~ Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author

Ruthless is full of suspense, hot sex, and swoon worthy characters — a must read!” ~ New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst

Blake Ruthless teaser 1

 

 

“Why did you do that?”

It was the first time she’d spoken without being prompted. “Do what?”

Her face flushed the sweetest pink. The color went all the way down that sexy V-neck. Her breasts flushed as well as her face, and it made his damn dick tighten. “Kiss me. Why did you kiss me like that?”

Oh, so many reasons, but he gave her the most compelling one. “I wanted to.”

The minute she’d opened the door and he’d seen her standing there looking anxious, he’d known how to calm her down. All he’d had to do was put his hands on her and some odd connection flared between the two of them. She hadn’t fought him. He could have gone on kissing her. He’d been the one to pull away.

It was like the minute he walked in, he was the only thing that existed for her. It made him feel ten feet tall, but it also made him want to please her.

It was an unsettling sensation.

Her hands came up, fingers on the sides of the table. “You know what I’m asking. You knew I wasn’t alone. Why did you pretend to be my boyfriend?”

It was easy to see she’d wanted him to wait for her at the restaurant so as to avoid him meeting her sister and ex. When she’d opened the door, he’d immediately known something was wrong. He’d gotten a glimpse of her sister and known Ellie had likely needed a hand. It had to be tough on a woman’s ego to lose even a pathetic excuse of a husband to a younger sister.

“You were alone with your sister who slept with your husband. Excuse me. Ex-husband.”

She shook her head. “At the time, we were definitely married. How did you know he was my ex-husband?”

“He took half your net wealth. I’m your lawyer. At this level, a good lawyer is less legal counsel and more war consultant. I can’t properly perform my duties if I don’t know everything about you, including the fact that you tend to have terrible taste in men.”

She frowned. “I haven’t had a ton of boyfriends. I’m not sure what my taste is.”

He really wanted to understand why she’d married that obvious prick. “What attracted you to him? Because from where I was standing, he looked like a dickwad desperate to be twenty-one again.”

She bit into her bottom lip, her eyes glancing away from him. “He wasn’t always like that. I actually met him when he was twenty-one. He was far more mature then.”

He liked her candor. “You were in college?”

“Last year of undergrad. We dated for two years and then it seemed like it was time to get married. We’d moved back here to Manhattan so I could take my place at StratCast. I thought he was going to go to grad school, but he decided on a different path.”

“What path was that?”

A single brow rose over her right eye. “You don’t know?”

Of course he knew. He knew everything. “Are you referring to your ex-husband’s penchant for swinging for the fences? When it comes to investments, that is.”

It was what he liked to call “idiots who funded ridiculous ideas.” They never wanted a simple profit out of their money. They wanted millions and really fucking fast. They swung for the grand slam when all they needed to do was get on base.

It took a true genius to take a single idea and make millions off it. Drew had.

Her shoulders straightened. “He wanted the easy solution. A get-rich-quick scheme. He wasn’t that way at first. At one point he was very intellectual. It’s what attracted me to him. He was curious about the world and liked to discuss everything from politics to social jus- tice to movies we saw. He changed. I didn’t. In some ways, I blame getting involved with me for what happened to him. He got around my father and real wealth and wanted some of his own. When I met him, he wanted to be a professor. He wanted to teach.”

At least he’d gotten her this far. She was talking. Now he needed to get those shoulders down from around her earlobes. For one moment, for that moment when he’d drawn her into his arms and pressed his mouth to hers, she’d relaxed against him, given over to him. Her body had softened and she’d leaned into him, and if he’d pressed her, he didn’t know what would have happened. She might have continued kissing him, forgetting all about the other people in the room. He could have cupped her breast, her ass. Put his hands anywhere he liked.

She hadn’t given a damn that they hadn’t been alone. All she’d cared about was him.

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW

Jill’s Review

I have been wanting to dig into a Lexi Blake book for a while now, ever since I read her contributions to the Rising Storm Series, so when I saw she was starting a new series I jumped at the chance to read it. And I am so glad that I did! Ruthless grabbed me from the start and I was rooting hard for EVERYONE in this book!

The lawless siblings are an extremely close bunch. Their lives are intertwined as they seek revenge on those that stole their parents from them. Twenty years ago, the murder of their parents, caused them to be split apart – instead of dividing this young family it drew them together and they watched out for one another, protected one another and did whatever they could to support each other. Now they have their sights set on the people who orchestrated the terrible act that changed their lives forever. This brings them to NY and StratCast. The CEO of StratCast is one of the men responsible and the Lawless siblings will stop at nothing to seek the justice, the revenge they crave. Collateral damage be damned! Even if it comes in the shape of sexy, innocent, smart, kind, nerd-whisperer Ellie Stratton. After all, her father was also to blame.

Riley is the sexy, charismatic lawyer who waltzes into Ellie’s life to ‘help’ her wth the business – never disclosing his REAL last name. But while Riley has studied up on everything StratCast and he and his family think they have every angle covered… he is NOT prepared to be knocked over by Ellie. She is so much more than he expected and watching their fall was delicious. But I was cringing the entire time as secrets were kept and I was on pins and needles waiting for the inevitable explosion when they came out. I kept hoping they would fess up and talk it all out.. but no 😦

The entire cast of characters was used so well in Ruthless. This is one of those books that makes you fall for an entire family. I wanted to scoop up those big bad Lawless brothers and soothe the hurts from their past. They don’t trust easily but once you become important to them, once you become part of there family they will lay down everything for you. The way they look out for each other is just amazing. They may have had a difficult upbringing but what they have forged together is something to be cherished.

Ruthless was full of secrets, revenge, twists and turns but also love, family and loyalty. It was a sexy romantic suspense that had me from the beginning. I cannot wait to see what happens in the rest of the series.

I received a complimentary copy of Ruthless in exchange for my honest review.

 

 

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Ruthless by Lexi Blake ~ Release Day

Ruthless FBbanner

Ruthless_CVFThe first in a sexy contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

The Lawless siblings are bound by vengeance. Riley, Drew, Brandon, and Mia believe the CEO of StratCast orchestrated their parents’ murder twenty years ago to steal their father’s software program. And there’s only one way Riley can find some solid evidence…

Heir to the StratCast legacy, Ellie Stratton hires a new attorney to handle a delicate business matter—and she’s shocked by her attraction to him. Over the course of a few weeks, Riley becomes her lover, her friend, her everything. But when her life is threatened, Ellie discovers that Riley is more obsessed with settling an old score than in the love she thought they were building. And Riley must choose between a revenge he’s prepared for all his life and the woman he’s sure he can’t live without…

Amazon | Amazon UK | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google | Kobo | Print

 

EARLY REVIEWS FOR RUTHLESS

“Smart, savvy, clever, and always entertaining. That’s true of Riley Lawless, the hero in Ruthless, and likewise for his creator, Lexi Blake. Both are way ahead of the pack.” ~ New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry

“I love Lexi Blake. Read Ruthless and see why.” ~ New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

With Ruthless, Lexi Blake has set up shop on the intersection of Suspenseful and Sexy, and I never want to leave. ~ Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author

Ruthless is full of suspense, hot sex, and swoon worthy characters — a must read!” ~ New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst

Blake Ruthless teaser 1

 

 

“Why did you do that?”

It was the first time she’d spoken without being prompted. “Do what?”

Her face flushed the sweetest pink. The color went all the way down that sexy V-neck. Her breasts flushed as well as her face, and it made his damn dick tighten. “Kiss me. Why did you kiss me like that?”

Oh, so many reasons, but he gave her the most compelling one. “I wanted to.”

The minute she’d opened the door and he’d seen her standing there looking anxious, he’d known how to calm her down. All he’d had to do was put his hands on her and some odd connection flared between the two of them. She hadn’t fought him. He could have gone on kissing her. He’d been the one to pull away.

It was like the minute he walked in, he was the only thing that existed for her. It made him feel ten feet tall, but it also made him want to please her.

It was an unsettling sensation.

Her hands came up, fingers on the sides of the table. “You know what I’m asking. You knew I wasn’t alone. Why did you pretend to be my boyfriend?”

It was easy to see she’d wanted him to wait for her at the restaurant so as to avoid him meeting her sister and ex. When she’d opened the door, he’d immediately known something was wrong. He’d gotten a glimpse of her sister and known Ellie had likely needed a hand. It had to be tough on a woman’s ego to lose even a pathetic excuse of a husband to a younger sister.

“You were alone with your sister who slept with your husband. Excuse me. Ex-husband.”

She shook her head. “At the time, we were definitely married. How did you know he was my ex-husband?”

“He took half your net wealth. I’m your lawyer. At this level, a good lawyer is less legal counsel and more war consultant. I can’t properly perform my duties if I don’t know everything about you, including the fact that you tend to have terrible taste in men.”

She frowned. “I haven’t had a ton of boyfriends. I’m not sure what my taste is.”

He really wanted to understand why she’d married that obvious prick. “What attracted you to him? Because from where I was standing, he looked like a dickwad desperate to be twenty-one again.”

She bit into her bottom lip, her eyes glancing away from him. “He wasn’t always like that. I actually met him when he was twenty-one. He was far more mature then.”

He liked her candor. “You were in college?”

“Last year of undergrad. We dated for two years and then it seemed like it was time to get married. We’d moved back here to Manhattan so I could take my place at StratCast. I thought he was going to go to grad school, but he decided on a different path.”

“What path was that?”

A single brow rose over her right eye. “You don’t know?”

Of course he knew. He knew everything. “Are you referring to your ex-husband’s penchant for swinging for the fences? When it comes to investments, that is.”

It was what he liked to call “idiots who funded ridiculous ideas.” They never wanted a simple profit out of their money. They wanted millions and really fucking fast. They swung for the grand slam when all they needed to do was get on base.

It took a true genius to take a single idea and make millions off it. Drew had.

Her shoulders straightened. “He wanted the easy solution. A get-rich-quick scheme. He wasn’t that way at first. At one point he was very intellectual. It’s what attracted me to him. He was curious about the world and liked to discuss everything from politics to social jus- tice to movies we saw. He changed. I didn’t. In some ways, I blame getting involved with me for what happened to him. He got around my father and real wealth and wanted some of his own. When I met him, he wanted to be a professor. He wanted to teach.”

At least he’d gotten her this far. She was talking. Now he needed to get those shoulders down from around her earlobes. For one moment, for that moment when he’d drawn her into his arms and pressed his mouth to hers, she’d relaxed against him, given over to him. Her body had softened and she’d leaned into him, and if he’d pressed her, he didn’t know what would have happened. She might have continued kissing him, forgetting all about the other people in the room. He could have cupped her breast, her ass. Put his hands anywhere he liked.

She hadn’t given a damn that they hadn’t been alone. All she’d cared about was him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Ruthless by Lexi Blake ~ Excerpt Reveal

 

 

Blake Ruthless plain fb ad coming soon

Ruthless_CVFThe first in a sexy contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

The Lawless siblings are bound by vengeance. Riley, Drew, Brandon, and Mia believe the CEO of StratCast orchestrated their parents’ murder twenty years ago to steal their father’s software program. And there’s only one way Riley can find some solid evidence…

Heir to the StratCast legacy, Ellie Stratton hires a new attorney to handle a delicate business matter—and she’s shocked by her attraction to him. Over the course of a few weeks, Riley becomes her lover, her friend, her everything. But when her life is threatened, Ellie discovers that Riley is more obsessed with settling an old score than in the love she thought they were building. And Riley must choose between a revenge he’s prepared for all his life and the woman he’s sure he can’t live without…

Pre-order Now

Amazon | Amazon UK | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Google | Kobo | Print

 

EARLY REVIEWS FOR RUTHLESS

“Smart, savvy, clever, and always entertaining. That’s true of Riley Lawless, the hero in Ruthless, and likewise for his creator, Lexi Blake. Both are way ahead of the pack.” ~ New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry

“I love Lexi Blake. Read Ruthless and see why.” ~ New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

With Ruthless, Lexi Blake has set up shop on the intersection of Suspenseful and Sexy, and I never want to leave. ~ Laurelin Paige, New York Times bestselling author

Ruthless is full of suspense, hot sex, and swoon worthy characters — a must read!” ~ New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst

Blake Ruthless teaser 1

 

 

Riley’s mouth came down on hers again. She could feel his hunger, and his hands roamed over the curves of her hips and backside, rubbing himself against her. It fed her own. She’d never felt more wanted, needed by a man. He didn’t seem to simply want sex with someone. He seemed to need her—only her.

She wrapped her arms around him and held on, letting him lead.

His mouth moved down, kissing her jaw and ear. “Do you have any idea what I want to do to you?”

A little bit. She’d always been quiet during sex, preferring to con- centrate on the sensations, but she wanted to hear him. She wanted to know he was with her. “What do you want to do?”

She shivered with heat as his tongue ran along the shell of her ear and he nipped the lobe, a thrill shooting through her.

His voice was a low, sexy growl in her ear. “I think about stripping you down all the time.”

He turned her suddenly and her back was pressed to his front. She could feel the hard ridge of his erection against her backside. His arms wound around her, keeping her close.

“You want me naked?” She didn’t want to stop talking. She could see now that her other sexual encounters had been defined by the walls she’d put up. Though she’d had a partner, she’d been essentially alone in whatever pleasure she’d found. With her ex-husband she would turn off the lights, enjoy the ride, and then sleep in silence, their physicality the only true intimacy between them.

She didn’t want that with Riley.

His hands moved up, cupping her breasts through the thin mate- rial of her blouse and bra. The warmth of his mouth and lips moved on her neck. “I’ll have you naked. I’ll get rid of every single thing that comes between us. I’ll strip you and then touch every inch of your body. You might be the boss in the boardroom, but I intend to lead here. I intend to have you every way I can have a woman, Ellie. Once I’m inside you, I won’t want to leave.”

He was still giving her a way out. She wasn’t going to take it. “Yes, Riley. I won’t change my mind.”

His thumbs rasped over her nipples. “I’ll fucking hold you to that. I will.”

She had no idea why he sounded so resolute, but his hands were working the buttons of her blouse, dragging it out of the waistband of her skirt and peeling it back.

Cool air hit her skin. Her brain was foggy with lust. Her whole system had softened in a way it never had before. She felt hot, her muscles tight with need, but she let Riley take over. He slipped off her bra and then sighed against her skin as he cupped her breasts again.

“Fuck, that feels so good. These are beautiful, baby. Do you have any idea how long I’ve wanted to get my hands on these?”

She leaned back against him, her head cradled by the strength of his chest. He was solid all over. His callused hands rubbed against her skin, the feeling of masculinity making her feel more feminine than she’d ever felt before.

His fingers rolled her nipples and for a moment, she couldn’t breathe.

“You’re going to give me everything I want, aren’t you, Ellie? You’re going to let me play with this body. You’re going to wrap your- self around me and let me have you like I’ve dreamed of. Without reservations, no thoughts of anything but how we can make each other feel.”

Forgetting everything else seemed like the best idea ever. She needed this. Needed to let go of everything and simply be. She hadn’t done it in years, maybe never.

But it felt right with Riley. It felt good and true.

“Yes. I don’t want to be anywhere but with you. Only you.”

His hand fumbled with the button on the back of her skirt and he cursed, finally managing to undo it. “Damn it. I’m not going to last once I get inside you. I’m going to be good for you, Ellie. I promise. I’ll make it so fucking good for you.”

She loved the growl he got in his voice when he was really aroused. And the way his hands shook. She wasn’t in this alone. He was with her, right beside her in his need. She helped him, shoving the skirt down and kicking off her shoes. When she was down to nothing but her undies, she turned in his arms.

She was a little too big, her breasts real. Unlike many women her age, she’d never lifted them or enlarged them. They sagged slightly and she was well aware that her hips were curvier than fashionable. Would he turn her away? Would he see she wasn’t as pretty as he’d thought?

He stared, his eyes going right to her breasts. “You’re so gorgeous, Ellie. Do you have any idea what I’ve gone through since that first day? I’ve never masturbated as much as I have in the last week.”

Yep, the man knew what to say to her. She was pretty sure she was glowing. “I’ve thought about you, too.”

“I want you to tell me all about that, but later, baby. Right now, I’m going to do what I’ve wanted to do since the moment I met you.”

NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / WEBSITE / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Ruthless by Michelle St. James ~ Blog Tour & Giveaway

It’s our day on the tour for Ruthless by Michelle St. James. We’re so excited for this sexy mafia romance! Michelle is sharing an excerpt and a fantastic giveaway so be sure to check out all the festivities!Ruthless BT ban

 

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About Ruthless:

Two years out of college, Angelica Bondesan spends her time working as a barista, keeping in touch with her prodigal brother, and trying to figure out how to bridge the gap with her father, a wealthy real estate developer.

 

But all of that changes the night she’s kidnapped. Thrown into a windowless room, Angelica is positive there’s been some kind of mistake —until she meets Nico Vitale.

 

Gorgeous and frightening, Nico became the boss of New York City’s Vitale crime family after the execution style murder of his parents two years earlier. Since then he’s turned the old-school mob into a sleek, modern army of ruthless men who understand that physical violence —while always an option —isn’t the only way to get what you want.

 

Now Angel is forced to face the truth;

 

Her father is not the man she believed him to be.

 

Nico Vitale is dangerous, possibly lethal.

 

She is falling in love with Nico Vitale.

 

Blurbs

 

“From page one you’re hooked and sucked into this corrupt thrilling world. A masterful romance of deep dark suspense, complicated emotions, and exciting action.” – New York Times bestseller, M.J. Rose

 

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Excerpt

She was almost elated. Now at least, something would happen. The knowledge that she probably wouldn’t like it was responsible for the knot in her stomach, and she spent the next couple of hours staring at the door, feeling slightly nauseous.

She forced herself to remain seated when she heard a key in the lock on the other side of the door. She wasn’t going to give the asshole — whoever he or she was — the satisfaction of knowing she was scared. But all of her big plans went out the window the moment the man swept into the room.

He was tall and powerfully built, his broad shoulders straining at the rich fabric of his designer suit. Everything about him was leonine, from the thick, dark hair combed back from his face, to the pronounced cheekbones over the strong set of his jaw. He moved quickly and gracefully toward her, not a shred of indecision in his gait.

But it was his eyes that made her stand, that forced her back against the wall.

They might have been brown, but the flecks of amber glowing from their depths made them look almost green. She had a flash of the black panthers she had loved at the zoo when she was little. Their unflinching gaze had been predatory, the raw power in their prowl both frightening and awe-inspiring. They had drawn her like a magnet.

Now, she had that same sensation. Like she was helpless in the face of him, forced to wait until he devoured her. She felt like she couldn’t breathe. Like this man, whoever he was, had sucked all the oxygen out of the room with his mere presence.

He didn’t stop until he was right in front of her, and her breath came fast and heavy as he stared her down, eyes locked on hers.

Finally, he spoke. “Is there a problem?”

His voice was deep and sure, with the diction she recognized from her wealthy classmates at boarding school. The question threw her for a loop (who was she kidding? he threw her for a loop), and it took few seconds to summon the anger that had been her companion during her hunger strike.

“You bet your ass there is.” She pushed her chin into the air. “Your men drugged me, kidnapped me, and kept me prisoner. I’d say that’s a big fucking problem.”

“My men didn’t do any of that,” he said.

She didn’t know what she had expected, but it wasn’t that. “Then who did?”

“I did.” He leaned down, his face mere inches from hers, and she caught a whiff of something musky and elemental laced with soap. She had a sudden flash of herself naked, wrapped in his suit jacket, infused with his scent. She was trying to shake the image from her mind when he continued. “And that’s because nothing happens here without my approval. Nothing. Do you understand?”

He held her captive with his eyes, and she hoped he couldn’t see the rapid rise and fall of her chest. Or that at least he would think it was fear. Because now that they were face to face, fear was a lot more palatable than the lust fighting for position in her body. And there was no denying the desire coursing through her veins. She felt it from the surface of her skin, only inches from the crisp wool of his suit, to the longing that beat like a drum at the center of her body.

She wanted to slap herself for nodding.

“Good,” he continued. “Because while you’re here, you will abide by the same rules as everyone else. Which means you will obey my every order without question. That includes eating. And if you don’t, I might have to bring your brother in to keep you company.”

His mention of David was like a slap to her face. “David…”

“Will be fine,” he finished. “And so will you, as long as you do as you’re told.”

“What’s the point of eating if you’re going to kill me anyway?” she finally asked.

He didn’t flinch. “As long as you’re quiet and cooperative, you’ll be set free as soon as I get what I want.”

So she’d been right. Ransom. “Why should I trust anything you say?”

He stood a little straighter, pulling back enough that she felt like she could breathe again. “Whether you trust me or not is of no concern to me, Angelica.” She was still recovering from his use of her name when he turned around and headed for the door. “But you do have my word.”

She was reeling from her contact with him, questions swarming her mind. He was almost out the door by the time she fought through the noise in her brain to find the one thing she was desperate to know.

“Who are you?”

He stopped walking but didn’t turn around. “I’m Nico Vitale,” he said. “And I can either be your greatest ally or your worst enemy. It’s up to you.”

 

 

Michelle St. James Bio:

Michelle ZinkMichelle St. James aka Michelle Zink is the author of seven published books and six novellas. Her first series, Prophecy of the Sisters (YA), was one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut novels. Her work has also been an Indie Next selection and has appeared on prestigious lists such as the Lonestar List, New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age, and Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best. Her character, Alice, won the Teen Read Awards for Best Villain against Harry Potter’s Lord Voldemort.

 

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Ruthless by Michelle St. James ~ Release Day Launch & Giveaway

It’s release day for Ruthless by Michelle St. James. We’re so excited for this sexy mafia romance! Michelle is sharing an excerpt and a fantastic giveaway so be sure to check out all the festivities! Ruthless RDL ban

 

Blogs Taking Part in the Release Day Launch

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About Ruthless:

Two years out of college, Angelica Bondesan spends her time working as a barista, keeping in touch with her prodigal brother, and trying to figure out how to bridge the gap with her father, a wealthy real estate developer.

 

But all of that changes the night she’s kidnapped. Thrown into a windowless room, Angelica is positive there’s been some kind of mistake —until she meets Nico Vitale.

 

Gorgeous and frightening, Nico became the boss of New York City’s Vitale crime family after the execution style murder of his parents two years earlier. Since then he’s turned the old-school mob into a sleek, modern army of ruthless men who understand that physical violence —while always an option —isn’t the only way to get what you want.

 

Now Angel is forced to face the truth;

 

Her father is not the man she believed him to be.

 

Nico Vitale is dangerous, possibly lethal.

 

She is falling in love with Nico Vitale.

 

Blurbs

 

“From page one you’re hooked and sucked into this corrupt thrilling world. A masterful romance of deep dark suspense, complicated emotions, and exciting action.” – New York Times bestseller, M.J. Rose

 

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Exclusive Excerpt

Nico Vitale was kneeling in one of the pews at St. Monica’s, praying for his mother and father. They’d been gone two years, but the pain of losing them still lingered. He had only been twenty-eight when they’d been killed, and he’d expected to have them for many more years, to give them the daughter-in-law and grandchildren they had wanted.

Their future had been stolen. From all of them.

He forced down the fury that had become all too familiar. Anger was good. Productive. It’s what drove him to seek justice, to right the wrong perpetrated against his family, against the honor code that had survived decades under the rule of some of history’s most violent men.

But this wasn’t the place for anger. This was the place for peace. Repentance. He took a deep breath and tired to calm himself.

His mother had always gone to St. Patrick’s, but Nico made a point of moving around the city, sitting in any church with an open door. He liked the anonymity of it. Liked knowing that no one would know him or remember his parents.

His faith was only a shadow of the belief that had sustained them. Nico didn’t believe in the edicts of the Church. It had been organized by man to benefit man. He worshipped his own god, and his god didn’t turn the other cheek. He might forgive, but that forgiveness didn’t preclude a punishment justly earned. Still, he liked to sit in silence and remember, to send love to his parents, wherever they were, and to stand on the side of any god who believed in vengeance.

He was reciting the Lord’s Prayer when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He instinctively shook off the hand. When he turned to see who had interrupted him, he was even less pleased.

“What is it, Dante?”He forced his voice even as he took in the leather jacket and jeans worn by the man in front of him. A dress code was part of Nico’s organizational reboot, but keeping cool was a point of pride, part of his mission to remake his father’s business for the twenty-first century. And having a reputation for being calm only made him more formidable when the situation called for his wrath.

Dante shifted in his seat, his face flushed, eyes feverish with excitement. “We got her,”he said. “We got the girl.”

Nico looked around before tipping his head at the church’s massive double doors. “Not here.”

Dante stood, hurrying down the aisle. Nico followed slowly, letting the peace of the church wash over him as he made his way out the door.

He took his time following Dante down the steps of the church. When they reached the sidewalk, they stepped back to stand near an adjacent building.

“Any trouble?”Nico asked.

Dante shook his head. “She didn’t see it coming.”

Nico didn’t like the note of excitement in Dante’s voice. Nico’s father had ingrained old-fashioned chivalry in his bones, and Nico never sanctioned hurting women. These kinds of things were a necessary part of doing business, not something he enjoyed.

“You didn’t hurt her.”It wasn’t a question.

Dante sighed, and Nico caught a hint of annoyance in the other man’s face before he could hide it. “We did it just like you said. Knocked her out, put her in the van, took her to the basement. She’s fine.”

Nico nodded. “Good. Make sure she’s comfortable.”

“Comfortable?”Dante’s laugh was bitter. “Why do we care if that bitch is comfortable?”

Nico clamped a hand on Dante’s shoulder and squeezed until he flinched. “We don’t call women bitches in this organization. Ever. Understand?”

Dante nodded, his eyes lit with the fire of indignation.

“Good.”Nico released his grip. “Now go make the pick-up.”

“Will do.”Dante rolled his shoulders, like doing so would free him of Nico’s grip when they both knew only death or dishonor would do that. “Want a ride back to the office?”

“No.”He didn’t owe Dante an explanation.

Dante nodded and headed for the car double parked at the curb. Nico watched him get in and drive away. He waited for the car to disappear into traffic before he started walking.

Dante was a problem. Nico understood it, but he was still trying to settle on a strategy for dealing with it. He knew Dante resented him. That Dante believed his father, Gabriel Santoro, should have been Underboss to Nico’s father before his death. If that had been the case, Dante’s father would be Boss now, and Dante himself would be the crown prince of the New York territory.

Instead, a year before his death Nico’s father had inexplicably turned to Nico, pleading with him to step in as Underboss. Only twenty-seven at the time, Nico wasn’t ready to take on the mantel of responsibility held by his father. He didn’t even believe in the mob. Not the way it was then; stealing and killing and raping in the name of money. In the name of power.

But his father had been unsettled. Even Nico, as young and wrapped up in himself as he’d been at the time, could see that. And his father — his family — meant everything to him. So he’d gotten his act together and joined the business, learning it from the inside out. He was just beginning to feel like he had a handle on the basic operations when his parents were murdered, execution style, outside the restaurant where they’d met over three decades ago. They had been celebrating their thirty-second anniversary.

Nico had spent the two years since remaking his father’s legacy. Raneiro Donati, head of the Syndicate that acted as governing body to criminal organizations all over the world, had stepped in as a mentor and father figure, guiding Nico through the early stages of grief and the rage that threatened to undo him. Gradually, Nico had found a focus for his fury, and he’d poured every ounce of his energy into targeting that focus and reimagining his father’s legacy.

Some of Nico’s soldiers embraced the change. Others, like Dante, clung to the old ways. Nico understood, but the reorganization wasn’t optional. They would comply or they would be gone.

Nico didn’t like taking the girl. A decade ago, something like that would be off the table, a blatant breaking of rules that had been in place since before the Syndicate formally existed. But nothing could be rebuilt without first dismantling the rotting foundation of what had come before.

And unfortunately, the girl was part of that foundation.

He checked for traffic on 2nd Avenue and crossed just before a taxi barreled through the intersection. He felt liberated by his time at the church. Lighter on his feet. Maybe he would call one of the women who acted as a physical companion when he felt the urge.

After all, he wasn’t a saint.

 

Michelle St. James Bio:

Michelle ZinkMichelle St. James aka Michelle Zink is the author of seven published books and six novellas. Her first series, Prophecy of the Sisters (YA), was one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut novels. Her work has also been an Indie Next selection and has appeared on prestigious lists such as the Lonestar List, New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age, and Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best. Her character, Alice, won the Teen Read Awards for Best Villain against Harry Potter’s Lord Voldemort.

 

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